Amidst such challenging times, hospitality sector is facing the adverse effects of global health crisis with occupancy, cash flow and ARRs taking a backseat. Vijay Dewan, MD, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels and chairman of CII West Bengal State Council, said, “Moreover, as per the latest HVS report, in India the overall revenue of the Indian hotel sector is set to decline anywhere between US$ 8.85 billion to 10 billion, reflecting an erosion of 39–45 per cent compared to last year. This is going to be a very challenging year for all of us. Having said that, currently our focus is on safety and wellbeing of our guests as well as our employees. Few of our hotels are operational and we are ensuring our best to deliver the services and to keep everyone safe. We are also working with the government, state government and various authorities to support them in this time of crisis.”
“We are also undertaking various initiatives to support senior citizens and the underprivileged who are suffering the most due to lack of food supplies and essential items. We have launched a neighbourhood service initiative, #THEParkHeartOfHope across our hotels, wherein anybody especially the senior citizens can call us for any help, be it groceries, medicines or food. The team responds to the request immediately taking all safety precautions. We are also providing free food every day to the underprivileged and community warriors. We have also initiated online food delivery with our partners across India. As stepping out amid the quarantine is a concern, over gathering essential items and groceries have continued yet not sufficient. During these turbulent times, we are working with partners and offering online food-delivery. We have received very encouraging response in all the cities, as guests are confident that the food is coming from hygienic and safe kitchens. And at this time, it allows them to order their favourite food at the comfort of their homes. Some of our hotels are also doing no contact delivery in the radius of 5 km of where the hotel is,” noted Dewan.
“Looking at the current situation, everyone is analysing the long-term impact of nationwide lockdown on resource management and business sustenance in the hospitality industry. Even after the Coronavirus is contained, people will be hesitant to travel, use any hospitality services or even visit public places. The revival of such sectors is going to be slow but domestic tourism might pick-up pace which also depends on consumer trust and confidence. While last year and the starting of 2020 were celebrating the ever-growing demand of MICE tourism, this business along with the experiential industry like weddings entirely depends on the permit of large group events. As for the future, we definitely need government support in helping to mitigate the impact and business losses that the industry will incur. With relief measures and a very high focus once this is over, state tourism and country tourism can help us to get back sooner,” he concluded.